Saturday, November 26, 2011

Why We've Decided To Get Rid Of Nearly All Our Possessions and Move To A Third-World Country

We always said that "one day", we would go and live in the Kingdom of Tonga (my husband's country of birth) for a year, and send our children to school there...

So recently, I got to thinking.

Our house is sold. As of yesterday, we no longer have a mortgage. We have no rent to pay. We had to pack up our belongings, anyway. We haven't yet paid a lot of money to upgrade our car. My husband is not working and we have no way of knowing how long before he can go back to work.

Why not now? We may never get such a perfect opportunity again.

My husband was hesitant at first. But the more he thought about it, the more excited he got.

The moment he said "Yes. Let's do it!" I felt the grip of fear go around my chest like a vice.

But what if? What if I couldn't handle it? What if one of us got really sick? What if our son resented us for taking him out of a school - where he'd just started to excel - and into a new school in a new country where he had to learn a new language? What if I got really bored and lonely? What if...What if....what if....What on earth was I thinking????

Maybe I should just stop this crazy nonsense of wanting a life less ordinary, and just settle for life in the suburbs, along with everyone else....

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

But I knew I'd regret it if I didn't. It was now or never.
We had a garage sale, and sold some of our furniture. Then we gave away bikes, a piano, a BBQ, a TV cabinet and various other bits and pieces to friends who wanted them. Two uteloads of stuff to the recycling centre, another two uteloads to the rubbish dump, several carloads to the Salvos.

Apart from our car, all of our worldly possessions now fit into a 3x3metre storage space.

The more possessions I got rid of, the lighter I began to feel. I cannot begin to tell you!! The other day I tweeted: " Until I moved house, I did not realise what a burden it is to have possessions".

Yes. All those things that I just "had to have" were nothing more than burdens. Why did I not see it until now?

Last night, when our house officially became someone else's house, I felt a little bit sad, but mostly I felt liberated. We are free! The future is alive with possibilities.

For now, we are staying with friends, but we will probably head over to Tonga in January, ready for our son to begin the school year.

Who knows? We are flying by the seat of our pants, with no plan and no roadmap. After a year in the islands, where poverty meets paradise, who knows where life will take us, or how much we'll have changed?

I know it's the right decision. I know. Because I've been smiling more lately. (Yes. Entirely unscientific observation, I know)
I have swallowed my fear. Now it just feels exhilarating...the way I imagine life was meant to feel...